BURBANK — As expected, the Crescenta Valley High and Burbank baseball teams found themselves locked in a pitcher’s duel in a Pacific League showdown at Burbank High Friday night.
That was all forgotten about for a few moments when the Falcons’ Ted Boeke smashed a first-pitch slider in his third at bat over the fence in deep left field, sending the ball onto Glenoaks Boulevard for a two-run home run.
“He threw me a fastball in the previous at bat and I didn’t think he was going to come with another one, so I sat slider first pitch and got it on the barrel,” said Boeke, who pondered if he’d ever hit a ball that far before. “I’d like to think so, but maybe not.”
It provided CV starting pitcher Brian Gadsby all the insurance he’d need, as the sophomore submariner threw a four-hit shutout for a 3-0 victory over the Bulldogs.
“That was gone once it left the bat,” said Gadsby, who just started throwing submarine in the summer. “That was a jack.”
Gadsby’s gem and Boeke’s blast overshadowed another quality start from Burbank ace Angel Villagran, who allowed just four hits, one earned run, a walk and a hit batter in the complete-game outing.
There were a total of eight three-up, three-down frames in the game, with Villagran logging three in the second, third sixth and seventh innings and Gadsby, who induced 16 groundouts, doing so in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh.
“This is a game you think about all winter long, ‘OK, how are we going to beat these guys over at their place?’” CV Coach Phil Torres said of the win. “But it’s just one game. We’ve got a lot of games to play and that’s what we just told the kids. We have a lot of work to do still.”
The game kept the Falcons (11-5, 3-0 in league) atop the league standings with Burroughs (9-7, 3-0), which defeated Muir, 25-1, Friday, and dropped the Bulldogs (7-7, 2-1) from the unbeatens into a third-place tie with Arcadia (11-5, 2-1).
“Overall, I think we didn’t play to our level,” Burbank Coach Bob Hart said. “I thought their guys did a good job, particularly the guy on the hill [Gadsby]. I just felt like in terms of sticking to our plan a little bit, I think we got away from it.”
An error opened the door for Crescenta Valley's first run in the top of the first.
Boeke, the leadoff hitter, reached on an error at shortstop, as his hard-hit grounder took a bad hop and just ticked off the fielder’s glove. Boeke then stole second base and came home on a roped single into the right-center field gap from Bryan Wang.
Joe Torres also scored in the fifth for CV on Boeke’s bomb after reaching on a throwing error.
“After Ted hit that jack it definitely relieved pressure,” Gadsby said. “When you have a great guy (assistant coach Darrin Beer) calling pitches and a great catcher, it relieves a lot of stress.”
While the Falcons had just enough offense, Burbank struggled to get anything going. The Bulldogs were one for six at the plate with runners on and didn’t convert on any of their five scoring-position chances.
“They just did a better job of swinging the bat in situations,” Hart said. “Situationally, we did not do a good job. We had guys at third base a couple of times and couldn’t get them in. We had guys on second and we couldn’t get them over; situationally, it was not good for us.”
CC Okimoto was Burbank’s only lead-off runner to get on in the game, as he reached in the bottom of the third when he hit a ball that went off Gadsby for a single. He stole second base to give the Bulldogs a runner in scoring position with no outs and then advanced to third on a groundout to shortstop that gave CV two outs after a previous lineout to right field.
Then Burbank’s Dylan Mersola hit ball into the hole at shortstop, but Boeke came up and made a nice throw that just got him at first to keep Crescenta Valley ahead.
Harrison Rodriguez, who’d previously singled, appeared to lead off the bottom of the fourth with a base hit to right field for Burbank, but it was hit so hard into the short field that he was thrown out at first.
It stung even more when Hector Rodriguez drilled a ball off the center field fence for a single in the next at bat.
Three stellar defensive plays stranded another precious Bulldog’s runner. Boeke flashed his range to track down a grounder up the middle and nab John White just in time. CV second baseman Nick Diaz made another nice place near his bag on the next play, as he fired a throw across his body to catch Villagran after a nice dig from freshman Adrian Damla at first.
“Burbank is always good, we come out here and this a hard place to play,” Boeke said. “They pack their stands and we come out here and all we do is battle, battle, battle and so do they. It’s always nice to come out here and get a ‘W.’”